The link between “charity” groups and terrorist organizations is frequently not recognized or is ignored. The chairman of the British Charity Commission, William Shawcross, on April 20, 2014 expressed his concern about charities being used as vehicles for such groups. He warns that the “problem of Islamist extremism… is not the most widespread problem we face in terms of abuse of charities but is potentially the most deadly… and it is growing.”
The growth is evident from the analysis in the British list of terrorist organizations proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000. Of the 55 organizations, 33 are Islamist, alphabetically, from the Abu Nidal Organization, whose declared aim is the destruction of Israel, to Saved Sect or Savior Sect, a group that has disguised its name on a number of occasions and which seeks to establish an Islamic Caliphate ruled by Sharia law.
Shawcross’s rightful concern was that some charities in the UK as elsewhere in Western democracies purportedly raise funds to provide aid for desirable objectives, and do so to some extent, but that they are also engaged in money laundering to organizations that are involved, directly or indirectly, with terrorist groups. More specifically, Shawcross found that some people accused of terrorist offenses serve as charity trustees.
Oxfam International, which showed such courage in trying to prevent the powerful Scarlett Johansson from taking a job with the Israeli company SodaStream, appears naïve and politically inept in not grasping this link. In January 2014 Oxfam was about to cosponsor an exhibit on Gaza in the East London Mosque together with Ibrahim Hewitt, a trustee of Interpal, officially the Palestine Relief and Development Fund, a so-called charity organization.
Oxfam, though now universally famous for its acute knowledge of the precise conditions in Israeli settlements, did not know, as every schoolboy in London does, that the East London Mosque is a notorious cauldron of anti-Western and anti-Semitic hatred. One of the individuals, Sakeel Begg, due to speak at another event at the Mosque, describes jihad as “the greatest of deeds.” The Mosque has also entertained other speakers such as Saad al-Beraik who refers to Jews as “monkeys,” and calls on Palestinians not to “have mercy or compassion on the Jews,” and to wage jihad against them.
It is also well known that the Mosque is an organization close to the Bangladeshi wing in the UK of Jamaat-e-Islami, a violent Islamic terrorist group, responsible for mass murder in 1971, and linked to the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
Oxfam understood that Hewitt was due to speak at the Mosque in conjunction with the Gaza exhibition it was cosponsoring. But then it cancelled the event not because of the hatred expressed in Hewitt’s remarks about Israel but because of his comments about homosexuality about which Oxfam had been previously unaware. Hewitt is reported as wanting homosexuals to suffer “severe punishments” for their “great sin.” He is not clear, at least officially, whether gays should be executed or whether they should simply be subjected to stoning. In spite of the cancellation, the irrepressibly naive Oxfam still “looks forward” to working with the Mosque to “highlight the plight of children of Gaza.”
Oxfam seems not have known about Ibrahim Hewitt or Interpal and the relation of this “charity group” to Hamas in Gaza. Hewitt, a convert to Islam in 1981, is an individual who wears a number of hats, all of which have a certain pattern. He is senior editor of Middle East Monitor (Islamist outlet). He is also a trustee of the International Board of Educational Research and Resources, an organization in South Africa, founded by Yusuf Islam (the former Cat Stevens) which distributes Islamist educational material. Hewitt was formerly, 2004-2006, the Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, a group that is dominated by the jihadist group, Jaamat-e-Islami.